Jacob Sullum on the Privacy Threat Posed by New Surveillance Technologies

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"If you win this case," Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer told Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben during oral argument in U.S. v. Jones last fall, "there is nothing to prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movement of every citizen of the United States." That prospect, Breyer said, "sounds like 1984." Fortunately, says Senior Editor Jacob Sullum, the government did not win the case. But Sullum argues that the Court's unanimous decision, announced on Monday, may not delay Breyer's 1984 scenario for long.

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